SHOP @ OUR RETAIL LOCATIONS
(1) Inside The Legacy Center in Oxford, MI
at Soothe Your Soul:
(2) Nell's Nest in Hillsdale, MI
Selling a nice variety of our soaps, bath bombs, body butter, & soap savers.
(3) Gatto's Place in Roseville, MI
28311 Gratiot Ave
Roseville, Michigan 48066
Inside The Legacy Center, Oxford, MI
(5) Wise & Grandson
Fri- Sat: 10AM–8PM
Why use The Expedition Soap Companies
all natural & vegan soap?
– Because Your Skin Will Notice the Difference!
Soap simply isn’t what it used to be. Much so-called soap on supermarket shelves shares more in common with detergent powders than actual body soap. Disagree?
Let’s ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who unequivocally proclaim, “Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products.”
We found this surprising but began our quest to offer you soaps that are amazing for your skin, as well as not having these artificial ingredients. Come on an expedition with us and let’s take a closer look at what the difference between these two are, and why it matters.
What’s really in your soap?
Our small batch artisan soaps and the chemical-laden store shelf soaps are two very different soaps. True soap (which we sell) is created by mixing together oil and lye. The reaction that takes place is called saponification and the result is a combination of soap and glycerin. Using olive oil will leave elements of olives; using coconut oil will leave elements of coconut; and so on. Other natural ingredients can, of course, be added, like Shea butter for skin nourishment or oatmeal for exfoliative properties, but nothing should be removed and no synthetic chemicals should be added - true soap is just fine as it is made.
On the other hand, we have mass-produced detergent products (let’s call these "synthetic soaps"). These synthetic soaps are robbed of their most valuable ingredient, glycerin, straight after the saponification (lye-rendering) process. A natural humectant, glycerin attracts moisture to your skin and is renewed as a soothing emollient (moisturizer). Unscrupulous soap manufacturers separate the glycerin from the soap to sell or use in other more expensive products. They then often add synthetic ingredients, detergents, foaming agents and chemical fragrances to the soap in order to simulate the properties of glycerin.
From Traditional to Trash:
There was once a time when all soap was handmade. The traditional way to create it was, and still is, called Cold Process. This is the process from which our soaps are made. Once the soap mixture has been prepared it’s poured into molds to saponify for a day, taken out to dry for a day, then cut into bars of soap and left to cure for a month or more. It’s as natural as soap gets, and that’s exactly how we make our natural soap.
At the turn of the 19th century, when it was discovered that glycerin could be extracted from soap, everything changed. With the growth of industrial manufacturing, the small handmade soap makers were pushed out by bigger companies who capitalized on being able to extract valuable glycerin, which could be sold or used in other more lucrative products. For example, glycerin is an essential ingredient for nitroglycerin, the explosive used in dynamite, and there was much demand for it at the beginning of the 20th century. The glycerin-free soap was a by-product, which was then mixed with cheap synthetic ingredients to imitate true soap, and was sold at much cheaper prices.
Exactly What You Don’t Need:
Just take a look at the list of ingredients for an average bar of soap in your local store. It could contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), an anionic surfactant (negatively-charged ionic substance) used in laundry detergent that will dry out and irritate your skin. It may also have sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), a cheap foaming agent that can become contaminated with the suspected carcinogen Dioxane while being manufactured. If it’s labeled as antibacterial it probably contains triclosan. This chemical is classified as a pesticide by the Environmental Protection Agency. Three-quarters of antibacterial liquid soaps and a third of antibacterial bar soaps contain triclosan, which is thought to be contributing to increasing bacterial resistance across the world. This chemical finds its way into our waterways, disrupting the photosynthesis of algae, building up in the fatty tissue of fish and carrying on up the food chain. A 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found triclosan in the urine of 75% of the people surveyed. To add insult to injury, over 40 years of FDA research has concluded that antibacterial soaps are really no better than just washing with real soap. The scary thing is that even if it says soap on the packaging that doesn’t mean it is real soap. There are no laws that stop manufacturers from describing their product as soap even when it is just a cheap chemical- laden imitation of real soap. It’s up to you to check the label and make sure it contains only natural ingredients, just as real soap should.
Exactly What You Do Need:
Naturally, there are so many natural oils, butter, plant extracts and exfoliants that can be chosen to be used in real soap making. These ingredients are genuinely good for your skin and overall health. Take coconut oil, with its moisturizing and disinfectant properties combined with a dose of vitamin E, essential for healthy skin. Then there’s Shea butter, with its skin healing properties that have been held in high regard since the time of the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt. Natural antibacterial and antifungal properties can be drawn from eucalyptus, coconut, and olive oils, while peppermint leaves can act as a decongestant and create a fresh invigorating scent. Real soaps don’t just clean you; they can make your skin feel a whole lot better too. Remember, the best ingredients grow from the ground up, not created in a lab with chemicals!
So, why use our natural vegan soap?
Here are our top 3 reasons: 1. Natural soap won’t dry out your skin or cause any other skin irritations or headaches, as all of the ingredients are gentle and skin safe. 2. Natural soap doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients, which can be absorbed by the skin (the body’s largest organ) and sometimes get into the bloodstream causing problems. 3. Natural soap is often subtly scented in a refreshing way. If you’re looking to try out a natural soap, The Expedition Soap Company’s soaps contain all natural vegan ingredients and no harsh chemicals, with a growing selection, different blends, and masculine scents. According to the wise words of our appreciative customers, these real soaps smell great and feel great. Don’t believe us? Try them for yourself!
Our soaps are free from petroleum-based chemicals. In fact, there are no chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no surfactants, and no preservatives. Our soaps are completely biodegradable and all the ingredients are found in nature (even our lye is slaked lime, which is formed when calcium oxide is mixed with water. Calcium oxide comes from limestone or seashells). We offer soaps for all skin types, and they’re handcrafted gently with a blended base of 5 oils – coconut, olive, corn, soybean, and hemp oils, along with organic shea butter, water, lye, fragrances and essential oils. Some have further natural additives, such as activated charcoal, clay, ground mint leaves, oatmeal… just to name a few. Our soaps are carefully pH balanced so they won’t dry your skin. Our soaps are safe for your entire family and the environment.
Try our soaps and you may find that you love our soaps just as much as we love providing you with the best true soap there is. We took our Expedition to bring you these luxurious soaps, now you need to join us in our mission of inspiring clean bodies with non-toxic soaps.
Here is another fabulous article you need to read, just in case our point wasn't clearly made in the prior article:
Why You Should Pamper Yourself with Artisan Soap
Ditch harsh cleansers and discover the health benefits of ARTISAN SOAPS
For most people, "soap" is a 4 letter word meaning a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling dry and tight. The soap of our ancestors was used to clean far more than the skin: pots, pans, hides, plus clothes laden with grime and grease. The soap was strong — and needed to be. If your skin did not feel drawn after a washing, the soap had not done its job removing oil and dirt. That feeling was ingeniously marketed as “squeaky clean."
The history of soap
Historically speaking, moisturizing and conditioning products for the skin were not part of the psyche. Daily survival was the focus, and the soap had one definitive purpose only: to clean.
In 1916, a young German scientist named Fritz Gunther developed the first detergent. The shortage of fats during World War 1 motivated him to find an alternative material that could be used as a cleanser instead of fat and lye-based soaps. Fat shortages continued during World War II, which further supported detergent development.
The marketing and use of detergents soared. They were inexpensive to produce and found their way into every industry, including skin care. Early detergents could not be broken down by bacteria and created foams in rivers and streams. The addition of phosphates solved this problem while simultaneously improving the cleansing power. The dark side arose when it was discovered that phosphates over-fertilized plants — namely algae, which polluted rivers and streams, consuming oxygen and decimating fish populations.
Detergents continued their evolution and are now found in the majority of commercial brands of body washes, hand soap and beauty bars marketed today.
The problem with harsh skin cleansers
Today, we know more about our own skin, its purpose, and its needs. Medical science allows us to understand the structure of the skin. It is multi-purpose, and we now know what it needs to function properly.
Our skin is made of epithelial tissue which protects us from the harmful rays of the sun and certain chemicals. Epithelial tissue protects underlying tissues, acts as a cushion, absorbs nutrients and excretes waste, such as sweat. The top epidermis layer is comprised of epithelial tissue.
Dermatology research has shown that the drying effect of commercial detergent based soap actually damages the stratum corneum layer in the first level of the skin. Detergents remove all the natural lipids in this layer, including the glycerin and all nourishing triglycerides. The stratum corneum is meant to be your shield against the environment, defending you daily from microbes, viruses and bacteria. It is your first layer of defense against injury and illness. This layer also stretches, expands, bends and flexes in a myriad of ways.
We actually strip the skin of moisturizing nutrients by using products containing copious amounts of detergents, salts, artificial surfactants and degreasers. The skin begins to thin and weaken. It may crack or split, opening the door to inflammation, which then allows recurrent skin conditions to develop. With that, dryness, itching, flaking and peeling find a new home.
Finding soap that works with your skin's needs
Properly made, handcrafted artisan bars of soap offer consumers a healthier option for bathing and overall skin care. Premium natural soaps are made from a variety of highly nutritious oils (olive, almond, castor) and butter (shea, cocoa, mango), botanicals (blueberries, pumpkin, teas) and skin-loving ingredients like undiluted honey and naturally-occurring glycerin.
Cold process soap making preserves the vitamins, minerals, lipoproteins and enzymes from the soap's premium ingredients. Soap is cured, like cheese, allowing the water to evaporate naturally.
Some handcrafted soap is produced by the hot-process method, which uses many of the same premium ingredients. This soap is cooked, and the applied heat assists a rapid cure time of a couple days, so the soap is ready for market. Heat has been proven to destroy nutrients, so I believe in the superiority of cold-process soap in terms of skin loving benefits.
Your skin is worth a premium, handcrafted bar that protects your barrier layer in the epidermis. Make the move away from detergent-based, commercial soap and actually start feeding your skin. Isn't your skin worth a few extra dollars each month?